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The Crystal Key (Windows)

56
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  rfox (114)
Written on  :  Apr 15, 2003
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  1.2 Stars1.2 Stars1.2 Stars1.2 Stars1.2 Stars

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Summary

Complete waste of time and money

The Good

Graphics & Game Interface:
The best thing about the game is the graphics. They are nothing special in comparison to the graphics quality today, but the game has a really sweet zooming and panning effect available on all screens. The game controls and interface are simple and easy to use.

The next best thing about the game was finishing it so I could get it off my hard drive.

The Bad

This game is a technical nightmare and suffers from extremely poor development.

Technical Difficulties:
It took me hours to get the game to run. Because the entire game is nothing but a QuickTime application, it will only run under the specific version of QuickTime in which it was developed. And the right version of QuickTime has to be installed on your computer BEFORE you install the game for it to run. And the game-stopping bugs are too numerous to recall here -- just make sure you have multiple saves of the game backed up.

Oh, and let's hope your CD drive is in good condition--it'll spin like crazy during the entire game.

Story (or lack of):
It has a generic storyline: Some evil alien dude is about to destroy the world and you have to stop him. Other than that basic premise, there is nothing else that fills in the details to expand on that story. Scenes are only tied together by your attempts to move from one area to the next to get to the end.

Gameplay:
Half of the puzzles are generic and simple; others are totally illogical where you have to play a guessing game with your inventory. The game is really short (or maybe that's a good thing in this case)--played it in about 10 hours.

Sound/Music: It has some minor sound effects and practically no music at all.

The Bottom Line

This is your basic Myst-clone done very poorly. You can probably find in a bargain bin for $5, but considering the numerous titles available at that price you're sure to find something better.